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FOR A CLEANER GEORGIA

How a Georgia dam is supporting a clean, sustainable energy future

During the hot, dry summers, residents near Georgia Power’s Wallace Dam hear sirens on a fairly regular basis. This is signaling that the power grid is about to get a big jolt of energy – 321 megawatts in fact.

That kind of wattage provides a near instant boost to a system that powers air conditioners and much more during the scorching Georgia summers.

Wallace Dam was Georgia Power’s first pumped storage project and the first on the Southern Company system. It’s also one of the first main river-pumped storage projects with a working height of less than 100 feet.

While smaller pumped storage projects are less common, Wallace Dam has more than paid dividends - not only in energy reliability and savings - but also in environmental benefits. In addition to the remarkable economic advantages of Wallace Dam, the hydropower it generates is a 100% renewable energy source. In fact, the water from Lake Oconee that surges through the dam’s six turbines and into Lake Sinclair generates enough clean, efficient electricity to power thousands of Georgia homes.

And don’t worry - when the level of Lake Oconee drops during the process, it can be replenished by reversing the generators and pumping the water back into Oconee from Lake Sinclair at times when power is plentiful, so that it can be used to generate power again when needed.

“A unique feature of Wallace Dam is that it uses the same water over and over. This allows us to serve our customers even during times of drought when there is not a lot of inflow into the lake.
It’s the original renewable energy.

– Greg Brown, Hydro Manager

This eco-conscious approach to electricity generation is what has allowed Georgia Power and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to work together to develop geese and waterfowl habitats, a wonderful legacy that remains in place today.


MEASURING OUR IMPACT

Conservation initiative gives endangered ecosystem new life

We take special pride in the conservation work we do in partnership with, and on behalf of agencies, nonprofits, our customers, and the communities we serve.

Leading the charge in the restoration of the longleaf pine forest – the most biodiverse ecosystem on earth, vast woodlands rivaled in size only by the Amazon rainforest, is a prime example of our commitment to stewardship of the environment. Our goal was to save both priceless woodlands and endangered animal species, such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

Originally covering over 90 million acres from Texas to Virginia, its numbers were reduced to three percent of their original size between the late 1800’s to the turn of the 21st century.

This versatile economic commodity was a staple in the naval stores industries which fueled the growth of the timber industry. Longleaf pines were critical to the reconstruction period of the post-Civil War South. As an ecosystem reliant on periodic fire to thrive, additional losses due to national fire suppression policies and practices caused their decline to continue into the new millennium.

Thankfully, our partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other organizations, has helped reverse the loss of the great longleaf pine forests and the wildlife that once inhabited them.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Refrigerator Recycling

Thanks to our free Refrigerator Recycling Program, recycling that outdated spare refrigerator in your basement or garage has never been easier. Doing so can not only instantly free up some extra space while also helping you save on your utility bill – it can even earn you a $35 rebate. The best part? We’ll pick up that old fridge and haul it away for you free of charge.

RENEWABLES

A new day is dawning for solar power in Georgia

Georgia Power is leading the way in making our state a national leader in solar energy. From home installation and buy-back, to non-installation offerings like Community Solar and Simple Solar, we have several programs you can explore to find the best fit for your home or business.

COMMUNITY

Georgia Power Foundation invests in community

The Georgia Power Foundation has announced a $500,000 donation over the next three years to support the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership's (ABP) Legacy Resident Retention Program. The donation will help seniors and working families, who are longstanding residents in these historic neighborhoods, afford to stay in their homes with grants that will ease the burden of higher property tax bills due to steady increases in property values.

Check back here in May for the next issue of Electric Living

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